I wonder how much chocolate there will be in your house this Easter? (There’ll be loads in mine!)
The writer Adrian Plass gives this tongue in cheek definition of Easter Eggs in one of his books – “ edible reminders of the resurrection made of chocolate, filled with sweets and wrapped up in shiny coloured paper, just as Our Lord was.” He also defines the Cross – “absurdly sentimentalised instrument of torture and death. Chances of Jesus having a secret hankering to get back to the ‘old rugged cross’ are really rather small. The point is emphasised if we imagine eating hot-garotte buns at Easter time.” Bacon Sandwiches and Salvation – An A-Z of the Christian Life, by Adrian Plass, pub. 2007 Authentic Media.
Sometimes it can seem a bit bizarre, all the trappings around Easter, the eggs, lambs, bunnies, crosses, flowers. Nowadays the shops that sell homeware and gifts have been trying for ages to tempt us to put up pink and yellow bunting and hang up Easter decorations that were definitely not a part of the Easters of my childhood – you might have painted a hard-boiled egg or made an miniature Easter garden, but that was all. There were chocolate eggs available for a few weeks before, andhot cross buns were only sold around Easter, not all year round like now. And yet, despite the awfulness of the manner of Jesus’ death – one of the worst and most deliberately shameful methods human power has ever come up with – we are celebrating and commemorating something awe-some in the true sense of the word. We are remembering the ongoing work of redemption of the whole of creation by our God who loves us so much that God sent God’s only son, to be human like us, to live among us, to experience our human life in all its joys and sorrows, its loving relationships and betrayals and its pain and death. We are celebrating that there is ultimate hope in this bruised, battered and broken world – that there is redemption for the worst of our human traits – that we are each of us loved beyond all human imagining.
As you eat your eggs and see the new life of spring around us, be reminded that although the stories of Holy Week involve betrayal and torture and pain and death – the worst we humans can afflict on each other – the story of Easter Sunday, of Jesus being alive once more, is that love triumphs over all of that and even over death itself. It is a great and wonderful mystery and we would love for you to come and share with us in our worship as we once more explore those stories together.
God bless and feel free to share your chocolate with me!